Found Deceased WY - Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito, 22, Grand Teton National Park, 25 Aug 2021 #85

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Gemmie

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Wow. So this suit claims BL took his own life on or around Oct 20? His DoD doesn't really matter but that doesn't seem consistent with the final ME report. But I guess it needs to be a late date to be consistent with the claim made in the other lawsuit that the L's were hiding him so he could escape abroad.
JMO
I think it's about the "on or around" part. October 20th is the day his body was found.

Laundrie reportedly left his home on Sept. 13, and was never seen again until his body was found on Oct. 20.

 

Fidobell

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Imo the Ps are incensed by the Ls lack of communication and intense privacy . By getting diary and papers the Ps would then be able to publish word for word / reproduce in full / copy unedited , make public , the last words and thoughts of BL . Something the Ls are never going to do . At present the Ps know what's in the notebook but legally hands are tied . This way BLs final script be in the very public domain forever .
 

Nikynoo

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BBM

I wouldn't have thought the wrongful death suit was about the notebook either. But the attorney who filed the suit for NS (Reilly) was quoted in the NBC article as seeming to confirm an important goal the P's have is possession of Brian's notebook and other writings that belonged to BL. He said "We will eventually get Brian Laundrie’s notebook and writings."

So the idea the notebook was key wasn't raised by some anonymous "legal expert" or even worse, a retired FBI agent. Of course, I guess the attorney could have been misquoted but that's kind of a big-deal misquote! Or I guess he could have said that for some strategic reason even though it's not true. In both suits jury trials are envisioned and I guess it's never too early to try to influence the jury pool.

I would have thought the P's would have been told what the note in the notebook said. But if that was considered "too private" to reveal, I wonder what the FBI did tell the P's about other aspects of the case? Many here have opined the FBI gave the P's lots of info but maybe not.
JMO
I can see that the notebook confession could be discovered during discovery, but not sure whether the contents would be sealed 'vis a vis' privacy laws in FL. The P's won't 'get' the notebook, but would be able to access the contents via discovery. So, I don't think its possession of the notebook per se that they're after, I think its the contents of the notebook.
 

Nikynoo

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I agree with most of what you say about the system being adversarial and so if the P's are seeking some recourse, they have no other choice but to work within the system, absent a relationship with the L's that might provide them with some of the information they are seeking.

However, I do not believe that they have the right to BL's notebook, which is like asking to see someone's diary. I believe that is a personal and private legacy that his next of kin should be allowed to keep private if they choose to do so.

Also, the L's also lost a life, irretrievably, their son. The L's did not take GP's life, BL did.

I wonder if the Court can ask for mediation to settle the civil lawsuit. Seems to me that this would be a first step, and less costly and adversarial for both families, and worth an attempt to have the matter resolved that way. Whether it would work or not, would of course remain to be seen. But if a judge required a good faith effort before proceeding with a trial/hearing, perhaps the P's might be persuaded to give it a try, with a mediator provided by the Court.
Here's a thought. the wrongful death claim is aginst the administrator of Brians estate, not the L's, but I would imagine that court ordered mediation would be a first step. Does the administrator have access to BLs personal possessions or just the financial aspect?
 

Nikynoo

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Ok. I don't think I really knew that so it was jarring to see a claim BL took his life on or around Oct 20. And I've never heard anyone say Gabby's DoD was Sept 19. The ME couldn't narrow that down any more than 3-4 weeks before the autopsy. So her DoD was the day she was found too?
I agree that there was a window of around 3 weeks with Gabby's dod, I cannot remember off hand, but yes, I think dod was the date her death was confirmed i.e. the date she was found.
 

Sundog

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Imo the Ps are incensed by the Ls lack of communication and intense privacy . By getting diary and papers the Ps would then be able to publish word for word / reproduce in full / copy unedited , make public , the last words and thoughts of BL . Something the Ls are never going to do . At present the Ps know what's in the notebook but legally hands are tied . This way BLs final script be in the very public domain forever .
If that is the case, that the Ps want to make public the contents of the diary for some reason other than for their own personal reasons, then I hope the judge would block this if possible to protect the privacy of the L's and their deceased son. Perhaps the judge in this case could rule that the Ps have the right to view the document/diary under court supervision, no cell phone cameras, note-taking, copying, etc. and that they can not make this pubic, and then return the material to the L's. Perhaps this could be a compromise position.

My own opinion is that they likely do not have the legal right to obtain or see this document, that it should go to his next of kin, his parents in this case.
 

NCWatcher

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If that is the case, that the Ps want to make public the contents of the diary for some reason other than for their own personal reasons, then I hope the judge would block this if possible to protect the privacy of the L's and their deceased son. Perhaps the judge in this case could rule that the Ps have the right to view the document/diary under court supervision, no cell phone cameras, note-taking, copying, etc. and that they can not make this pubic, and then return the material to the L's. Perhaps this could be a compromise position.

My own opinion is that they likely do not have the legal right to obtain or see this document, that it should go to his next of kin, his parents in this case.

Interesting points.

I don't know if a judge can put a permanent "gag" on the P's. And if he could, if he orders BL's materials to be shared with the P's, I'm not sure he can order them not to tell anyone (e.g., relative, close friend) what the materials said. And what's to stop the that person from openly sharing? I think it's sort of like toothpaste and its tube. Once it's out, it's out. I also don't know how much "mediation" is typically orchestrated by a judge hearing a wrongful death case. I guess it depends on the judge.

I would have thought the FBI would have told the P's what the "took responsibility" note essentially said. Maybe not what it said word-for-word but I would have thought they would have been told much more at that final meeting about the note's claim than the public ever was. (Or more about the notes, plural. We keep saying "note" but the FBI report actually says there were written statementS in which BL took responsibility. So maybe multiple notes.) I definitely don't think the P's would have been given the notebook to examine (or that ANY physical evidence would have been brought to the Tampa mtg for the P's examination.) But as someone else mentioned (can't find the post to give credit) the writing in the notebook is likely pretty illegible to the naked eye after being under water. Of course, the FBI probably took other "writings" when they searched the house.

But unless the P's attorney has been misquoted, as part of the wrongful death suit they want the notebook and they want other "writings" of BL's. (FWIW, the attorney said they would "get" not "see" the materials.) Of course, it's not clear who has the notebook now. I'd think the FBI wouldn't be in the business of storing property while family squabbles over ownership play out. (Many crimes probably cause or worsen family strife so disputed property claims could frequently arise.)

I understand the P's want to know what happened and they might think they will if they read BL's writings. But I do not understand what the legal basis would be for the P's to be awarded those things or other items of an obvious personal nature if they belonged to BL. And I assume the notebook belonged BL unless there's strong evidence to the contrary. (Did it say in the front "This notebook belongs to Gabby Petito?" Are most of the writings and drawings in the notebook GP's?) Evidence the notebook belonged to GP is the only obvious way I (as a layperson) could see it awarded to the P's in court. And I'd think the evidence would need to be more than a statement of ownership by the P's.

I suppose one could claim any writings of BL's have monetary value as part of the estate because they could be sold to some sleazy news outlet or even to some murder memorabilia collector but that's a pretty horrible position to argue, I'd think. But if the suit isn't defended, wouldn't that do away with the P's even gaining access to the notebook contents and other writings through discovery? (As was mentioned by @Nikynoo.) And if the P's are awarded damages that exceed the value of the estate funds, maybe the monetary value argument will be made.
JMO
 

Wallendo

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The notebook belonged to BL. Since he is dead, the notebook belongs to his estate. It was, and may well still be, in the custody of LE as part of an investigation. LE can likely keep it as long as an investigation is still open. When/if LE no longer needs it, it would go to the estate - LE doesn't get to choose who gets it.

The wrongful death suit will likely not go to trial. Bertolino has hinted that there may be no response to the lawsuit, in which case GP's family wins by summary judgement. The judge can award a judgement which will almost assuredly be higher than the worth of BL's estate. This could eventually give ownership of the notebook to GP's family. I doubt the notebook is of major monetary value, but if GP's family obtains the $20K from BL's bank accounts, they can use it to pay their lawyers for the suit against his parents.

I would hope that LE has provided them with transcripts of BL's confession(s). I wonder, and GP's family may be hoping so, if there is anything in the notebook demonstrating that BL's parents had direct knowledge of the death or made any real effort to help him escape. Information that could be used in the other suit. That would be the only monetary benefit of the notebook IMHO.
 

Sundog

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It was, and may well still be, in the custody of LE as part of an investigation. LE can likely keep it as long as an investigation is still open.
<snipped for focus>

Who would LE be investigating? BL who is deceased, and does the law allow for LE to investigate a dead person? Or his parents? What would the open investigation be? Just wondering.
 

carbuff

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<snipped for focus>

Who would LE be investigating? BL who is deceased, and does the law allow for LE to investigate a dead person? Or his parents? What would the open investigation be? Just wondering.

The last I heard, the FBI had not closed the investigation. They didn't say why. But that was months ago--has anything more recent been announced?
 

NCWatcher

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The last I heard, the FBI had not closed the investigation. They didn't say why. But that was months ago--has anything more recent been announced?

All I know is the FBI said in January "All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case." At that time (Jan 21) it was announced the investigation would be closed shortly. I've not seen any official statements about the FBI investigation since.

When it was announced in November BL had killed himself the Petito family attorney said the US Attorney's Office was considering charging other people. Based on what we knew I doubted that was true at the time and I still doubt it. (I believe the office could have said that in response to a question but I personally doubted it was a serious possibility.) It's possible the FBI is still "investigating" the L's but I hope not. IMO there is plenty of serious crime that's more of an ongoing threat to our society than the L's.

I understand some want the L's to be punished for something, for anything. But I'd rather see LE resources used elsewhere to prevent crime and to solve unsolved murders. We know who killed GP and that person can't be punished by our justice system. IF Brian had been found alive in Mexico (or anywhere else far away from Florida) I could see the value in investigating how he got there and, if warranted, bringing charges against people who helped him. But he was found dead less than 20 miles from home in the area where the L's always said he'd be. And while his official DoD may be Oct 20 (the date his skeletal remains were found), it's pretty clear he died soon after entering the swamp. The full autopsy released by the state of Florida in February suggests the period from death to autopsy was 47.4 days to 672.4 days. Since Sept 13 (the last known date BL was seen alive) to Oct 20 is 37 days he must have died almost immediately after entering the swamp.

Full Autopsy Reveals New Details in Brian Laundrie's Death
 

Mike in WNY

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All I know is the FBI said in January "All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case." At that time (Jan 21) it was announced the investigation would be closed shortly. I've not seen any official statements about the FBI investigation since.

When it was announced in November BL had killed himself the Petito family attorney said the US Attorney's Office was considering charging other people. Based on what we knew I doubted that was true at the time and I still doubt it. (I believe the office could have said that in response to a question but I personally doubted it was a serious possibility.) It's possible the FBI is still "investigating" the L's but I hope not. IMO there is plenty of serious crime that's more of an ongoing threat to our society than the L's.

I understand some want the L's to be punished for something, for anything. But I'd rather see LE resources used elsewhere to prevent crime and to solve unsolved murders. We know who killed GP and that person can't be punished by our justice system. IF Brian had been found alive in Mexico (or anywhere else far away from Florida) I could see the value in investigating how he got there and, if warranted, bringing charges against people who helped him. But he was found dead less than 20 miles from home in the area where the L's always said he'd be. And while his official DoD may be Oct 20 (the date his skeletal remains were found), it's pretty clear he died soon after entering the swamp. The full autopsy released by the state of Florida in February suggests the period from death to autopsy was 47.4 days to 672.4 days. Since Sept 13 (the last known date BL was seen alive) to Oct 20 is 37 days he must have died almost immediately after entering the swamp.

Full Autopsy Reveals New Details in Brian Laundrie's Death
My take, at the time and now, of the 'logical steps' and 'closed shortly' statements is that to whomever those thoughts were to be attributed (the FBI exclusively, I guess?) was saying 'we have nowhere else to go at this point'... and (I'd bet) the intent was to convey that the *active* investigation is to be closed (because 'we have nowhere else to go at this point'). The statements are overflowing with wiggle room to my eye. Couple that with the further wiggly comments - not that they *determined* the deceased male had committed the crime; not that they *determined* nobody else was involved, but; they had no reason to believe anyone else was involved in the females death and some alleged writings of the male *took credit* for the females killing. To me, it was essentially saying: we can't find anyone else did this and since there's something pointing to the male half doing it, we'll go with that for the time being.

So, yeah, I think the active investigation is concluded... but the case is not formally solved (so to speak) and could be reactivated at the drop of a hat.
 

NCWatcher

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My take, at the time and now, of the 'logical steps' and 'closed shortly' statements is that to whomever those thoughts were to be attributed (the FBI exclusively, I guess?) was saying 'we have nowhere else to go at this point'... and (I'd bet) the intent was to convey that the *active* investigation is to be closed (because 'we have nowhere else to go at this point'). The statements are overflowing with wiggle room to my eye. Couple that with the further wiggly comments - not that they *determined* the deceased male had committed the crime; not that they *determined* nobody else was involved, but; they had no reason to believe anyone else was involved in the females death and some alleged writings of the male *took credit* for the females killing. To me, it was essentially saying: we can't find anyone else did this and since there's something pointing to the male half doing it, we'll go with that for the time being.

So, yeah, I think the active investigation is concluded... but the case is not formally solved (so to speak) and could be reactivated at the drop of a hat.
Yes, the quoted statement about concluding the logical steps came from the FBI re: the January report that was publicly released.

I agree that there's wiggle room. I said so when the report was released. Among other things, it always struck me as very weird the report said Brian's statements "claimed responsibility" for GP's death. While there may have been an effort to protect BL's privacy so the note's wording and details were held back, I honestly don't recall LE doing that very often when a suspect is dead. Regardless, I sincerely doubt BL used those words or if he did, that he used only those words. So the FBI saying that seems a bit weird.

Certainly one could imagine a person could feel responsible for a death without doing the killing. People who feel guilty about something they did or something they didn't do prior to a death do sometimes say, "I'm the one responsible for X's death." (I should have insisted he see a doctor sooner, I should have stopped him from going out when he was upset, I should have insisted she eat healthier food, I shouldn't have left her alone, I should have insisted he stop drinking ..)
 

Sundog

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Yes, the quoted statement about concluding the logical steps came from the FBI re: the January report that was publicly released.

I agree that there's wiggle room. I said so when the report was released. Among other things, it always struck me as very weird the report said Brian's statements "claimed responsibility" for GP's death. While there may have been an effort to protect BL's privacy so the note's wording and details were held back, I honestly don't recall LE doing that very often when a suspect is dead. Regardless, I sincerely doubt BL used those words or if he did, that he used only those words. So the FBI saying that seems a bit weird.

Certainly one could imagine a person could feel responsible for a death without doing the killing. People who feel guilty about something they did or something they didn't do prior to a death do sometimes say, "I'm the one responsible for X's death." (I should have insisted he see a doctor sooner, I should have stopped him from going out when he was upset, I should have insisted she eat healthier food, I shouldn't have left her alone, I should have insisted he stop drinking ..)

I think LE had to make some kind of definitive statement because of the national and international status of this case, and without some statement to this effect then it would not have satisfied the general public. They weren't able to say BL murdered GP because that is a legal term, so I think this was the way for them to close the investigation and satisfy the public.
 

NCWatcher

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I think LE had to make some kind of definitive statement because of the national and international status of this case, and without some statement to this effect then it would not have satisfied the general public. They weren't able to say BL murdered GP because that is a legal term, so I think this was the way for them to close the investigation and satisfy the public.
I think you are probably right. Definitely some wiggle room was necessary since BL had not been and could not be tried for murder. But I still thought the "claimed responsibility" statement was unnecessarily vague. (While murder is a legal term, kill is not, so far as I know.) But maybe BL was vague in his note. It's also possible he didn't remember the act itself (that can happen) and so maybe he did say "I claim responsibility" (but I doubt it or if he did, I expect he said more.)
JMO
 

NCWatcher

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Another very well written MTD. The Motion will be heard on June 22 at 1:30pm.

Wow. June 22 is quite a delay. Over 5 weeks from now? With a case management mtg in early July for a jury trial due to start in August? Would we expect the judge to rule in court on the 22nd?

We can't see the materials but there's a new entry in the estate file on the clerk site. It's for a petition for an "administrator ad litem" to be appointed to defend the "independent action." It was reported when the wrongful death suit was filed that the appointed curator had no duty to respond.

"The curator of Laundrie’s estate, Barry Spivey, told Fox News Digital that one of his primary functions as a limited curator “is to accept service of a summons on that lawsuit,” but he has “absolutely no responsibility to respond to it.” Gabby Petito’s mom files lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s estate

There's no one else to respond. The way things are right now the L's don't have standing I wouldn't think. So maybe this is so someone can respond?
 
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